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When You Get Knee-Jerk Reactions Against Your Influence
The leader's intent is to influence, but the intent to influence will bring out the rocks.
The rocks are built of all the negative experiences they've ever had with the idea you're trying to tell them about.... They hold a rock composed of a church they fell in love with only to have the pastor have an affair. They hold a rock full of all the conversations they've had with hypocrites and liars who once shared the same idea you are.
Have you experienced this as a church leader? As a parent? As a boss? As an intervening friend? As someone who expressed an opinion on social media? What's your gut reaction when the rocks come out?
What I've learned is that the best thing to do is to confess those rocks are there. To get off your platform, whether in a one-on-one conversation or on a blog, and stand beside the person and say honestly, "Hey, you've got a rock in your hand. It's a rock that I helped put there with my own hypocrisy and mistakes." And then, once you've said that, once you've built a relationship that is real, I think you can ask them for the rock. You can say, "Can we talk about that rock? And while we talk, can I hold it for you?"
The art of communication isn't about merely getting something off your chest but about getting something into another heart. And that requires that we process through the knee-jerk reactions we often get as we begin to communicate. As Acuff puts it:
There will be rocks, but that's OK.
LeaderLines is a weekly "e-briefing" providing valuable information and inspiration to those who serve at Hillcrest Baptist Church.